The production of the sports car is always difficult because the perfect balance needs to be found. If a carmaker decides to change the appearance without upgrading the powertrain, the final version of the sports car might be disappointing. On the other hand, if a company tries too much and delivers a vehicle that will stand out in the crowd, it will be compared to the best in that segment.
Hyundai is attempting to find this balance with their new 2017 Elantra Sport, which should arrive in the United States from South Korea. The ongoing Elantra is equipped with a 2.0-liter I4 engine, and it went on sale in January. Only one month after that, the South Korean company launched Eco with a 1.4-liter turbocharged unit that produces 128 hp, and it is rated at 40 mpg on the highway. Now, the goal of Hyundai is to add Sport vehicle in the lineup, and this car will sit between Eco and range-topping Limited model.
Albert Biermann and Hyundai Sub-Brand
Before this model, Hyundai tried to produce a sport version, but they only changed the exterior design. What is different now is that they hired Albert Biermann from BMW M performance division who is helping them manufacture something completely new. He is an expert in this field, and the launch of Hyundai’s sports car sub-brand is expected soon. It will be named N which stands for Namyang, and the first model that will be revealed by this sub-brand will be a fully redesigned Veloster in 2018.
Read more: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
2017 Elantra Sport Exterior
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport sees some changes to the exterior and the presence of Biermann is clearly visible. The new model has a more aggressive front end compared to the previous offer, and the front blacked-out grille has a hexagonal shape. In addition, the new car features standard HID headlights, whereas the LED DRL’s are horizontally mounted. The 2017 Elantra Sport comes with 18-inch wheels wrapped in 225/40R18 Hankook Ventus S1 Noble Ultra High-Performance tires for all seasons. The wheels on the other models range from 15 to 17 inches, which means that these are the largest Elantra has ever seen. What is also worth mentioning is that the new car sports a unique rear end, while the dual chrome exhaust outlets are included.
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport Interior
The interior of the Hyundai Elantra Sport is interesting mainly because everything inside is black. The new model is equipped with bolstered leather seats with “Sport” written on the back, whereas the steering wheel has a flat bottom adding to that sporty feel. In order to create contrast, there is red stitching and red needles in the instrument cluster, and this is the only different color you will find inside.
Biermann’s influence is outstanding, and he is the reason for the improved dynamics of the vehicle. A multilink rear suspension comes instead of the coupled torsion beam axle, while a rear stabilizer bar is added as well. The noise and vibration have been reduced drastically, and some of the other integral parts that help upgrade the dynamics are higher spring rates, larger front brake rotors, and stiffer damping. If you decide to drive this vehicle on some not so ideal roads, don’t worry, because the drive is comfortable.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport features a 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 unit which can be found in other Hyundai vehicles as well. The difference is that the engine in the Sport has been tuned, so it has more power than the same unit in the original Sonata, but it also brings different intake than the one on Veloster. This engine is rated at 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, far better than the regular Elantra. The top speed of the Sport version is 130 mph, and the car can reach high speeds with good stability, whereas the steering is satisfactory.
Price and Conclusion
The Elantra Sport is a solid addition to the lineup, and the carmaker believes that one in ten Elantra buyers will opt for the Sport variant. The car with a six-speed manual gearbox costs $22,485, but you can also go with the model that features a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, and this version is priced at $23,585. If you want to add Blue Link connected-car suite, dual-zone climate control, updated sound system, navigation and a sunroof, you can purchase Premium package for $2,400.